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Further measures to enforce industry codes a welcome step

18 March 2019

Today’s release of a consultation paper about further enforcement of industry codes is welcomed by Australia’s banks, who look forward to working with regulators and the Treasury to identify what more can be done to further enforce its new Banking Code of Practice.

The new Banking Code of Practice, to take full effect by July 1 this year, lifts the bar by introducing a range of new measures to make banking products easier to understand and more customer focussed.

The new Code was the first industry code to be approved by ASIC under Regulatory Guide 183. The Code itself is currently enforceable through the courts and the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, as it forms part of a customer’s contract with their bank. The Banking Code of Practice is the standard used by AFCA when assessing disputes between a customer and credit provider, regardless of whether they are a member of the Australian Banking Association.

Following the recommendations of the Royal Commission, the industry recently announced a further shakeup to the Code, which will be implemented as soon as possible.

CEO of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh said the industry stood ready to work with all stakeholders to implement this recommendation of Commissioner Hayne.

“The Industry worked closely with regulators and government to ensure our new Banking Code of Practice set a new higher standard, lifting the bar by introducing measures to make banking easier to understand and more customer focussed,” Ms Bligh said.

“While the new Code is already enforceable as relevant clauses form part of a customer’s contract, the industry will work with the government to identify what more can be done regarding enforceability following the recommendation of the Royal Commission.

“The ABA Code remains the only financial services industry-wide Code to be approved by ASIC, whose criteria for approval is an appropriate benchmark for codes of this nature,” she said.

ENDS
Contact: Rory Grant 0475 741 007

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